Tenkara’s “Rod Toss” Technique

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Several members of the SCO team have Tenkara rods within their arsenal of fly fishing tools and techniques. Tenkara is a form of fly fishing (sans a reel) that has progressed from somewhat of a novelty into the fringes of mainstream fly fishing culture. The technique of angling employs a longer rod with a single section of line that’s attached to the tip. The angler then uses the additional length of the rod to place a fly within range and simply guide the fly along for each drift, similar to “high-sticking” technique.

The result is a drift unobstructed by any drag created by fly line laying on the swirling surface of the water. Another benefit is a direct connection from the tip of the rod to the fly, thus relaying the feel of a strike immediately.

Rick Williams of the Idaho Angler in Boise is a friend of ours and fellow Tenkara enthusiast. Rick explained one particular fish he landed recently, with a bit of a twist involved in landing the hard fighting rainbow. (Remember with only a fixed section of line and no reel, a hooked fish must be kept within reach of the rod and line. Which can be nothing short of challenging on many occasions!)

Rick Explains “I dug my Tenkara Iwama 12′ rod out and ran some small nymphs through one of my favorite runs.  Ended up hooking this rainbow on a #18 Zebra midge on 6X.  Took about 15 minutes to land him, during which I had to toss my rod into the river three times and let him swim off with it to avoid breaking the 6X tippet.   I knew the fish wouldn’t leave the hole, so it ran only 10-15 feet  each time and then stopped, after which I was able to wade out, grab the rod and continue the fight.”

Great fun and thanks for sharing Rick!

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